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Epic Games (Developer of the Unreal Engine) Shows Off "Siren" Demo

Accepted submission by takyon at 2018-03-23 07:34:40

Epic Games' Tim Sweeney on creating believable digital humans []

Epic Games stunned everyone a couple of years ago with the realistic digital human character Senua, from the video game Hellblade. And today, the maker of the Unreal Engine game tools showed another astounding demo, dubbed Siren, with even more realistic graphics.

CEO Tim Sweeney said technologies for creating digital humans — from partners such as Cubic Motion and 3Lateral — are racing ahead to the point where we won't be able to tell the real from the artificial in video games and other real-time content.

[...] [Kim Libreri:] The other big thing for us, you may have seen the Microsoft announcements about their new raytracing capabilities in DirectX, DXR. We've partnered with Nvidia, who have the new RTX raytracing system, and we thought about how to show the world what a game could look like in the future once raytracing is added to the core capabilities of a PC, or maybe even a console one day. We teamed up with Nvidia and our friends at LucasFilm, the ILM X-Lab, to make a short film that demonstrates the core capabilities of raytracing in Unreal Engine. It's an experimental piece, but it shows the kind of features we'll add to the engine over the next year or so.

We've added support for what we call textured area lights, which is the same way we would light movies. You can see multiple reflections. You can see on the character, when she's carrying her gun, the reflection of the back of the gun in her chest plate. It's running on an Nvidia DGX-1, which is a four-GPU graphics computer they make. But as you know, hardware gets better every year. Hopefully one day there's a machine that can do this for gamers as well as high-end professionals. It's beginning to blur the line between what a movie looks like and what a game can look like. We think there's an exciting time ahead.

One thing we've been interested in over the years is digital humans. Two years ago we showed Senua [], the Hellblade character. To this day, that's pretty much state of the art. But we wanted to see if we could get closer to crossing the uncanny valley. She was great, but you could see that the facial animation wasn't quite there. The details in the skin and the hair—it was still a fair way from crossing the uncanny valley.

Related: Microsoft Announces Directx 12 Raytracing API []

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